What I Ate Wednesday #113: Back to Normal

How many times have you heard the word “detox” over the past week? Every time the holidays come around, everyone scrambles to find the best ways to not gain weight and not over-indulge. And when we all give in to the holiday treats, we all want the quick-fix to lose the bloat and get back to where we were pre-holiday, right? Personally, I’m not one to say no to pumpkin roll and peanut butter cups.

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

I’m also not a fan of detoxing. In theory, the idea of cutting out all of the sugar, alcohol, and excess snacking sounds like a good idea. But when I go from all to nothing, I’m not the most fun person to be around. [Don’t ask Nathan.] I prefer to just go back to my regular way of eating.

[Breakfast]
Protein Egg White Oatmeal Oats Fresh Almond Butter Coffee
How could I possibly give up my most favorite breakfast?

[Lunch]
Whole Foods Salad Bar Garlicky Kale
I’ve been going salad bar crazy! This is an old picture, but just imagine all of the delicious salad bar toppings you could possibly get from Whole Foods, Wegmans, etc. It’s the best.

[Dinner]
Lemon Feta Chicken Israeli Couscous Salad

Chicken Shawarma Cabbage Salad Saurkraut Hummus Baba Ghanoush
Nice, light dinners. The other night I made feta chicken, Israeli couscous salad, and a green salad. Last night we went to dinner at a new Mediterranean place that was setup like a Chipotle-style way of ordering. I loaded up on all the veggies and the delicious chicken shawarma, hummus, and baba ghanoush.

[Snacks]
Don’t be fooled by the pictures above. Along with my healthy bars that I’ve been snacking on, I’ve also been popping into the fridge to grab some bites of leftover sausage stuffing, all of the squash and sweet potato, and there have been many spoon dips into the almond butter jar! Obviously, I could be stuffing my face with worse food but there has still been a bit more snacking than a normal day.

So it may not be totally back to normal, but we’re getting there! There’s no quick fix for anything so rather than torturing myself [and everyone around me] with food I don’t want, I’d much rather enjoy what I’m eating and take my good old time.

Food for Thought

Are you a detoxer or do you just got back to your norm?

Link Love #33

I’m really excited for tonight. I fully plan on eating a nice, big spoonful of peanut butter, granola, and lots of rice with dinner! I know I haven’t kept Passover 100% but I’ve at least tried. I think I’m just now to the point of wanting things because I can’t have them.. like pizza. I can go a looong time without pizza, but I do like to at least have a bite when Nathan orders it. Well, now I just want a whole pie! And chocolate chip cookies. And lots and lots of peanut butter haha!

Continuing on the Jewish note, last night Nathan turned on a movie called When Jews Were Funny. It’s ridiculous and pretty darn funny.. though I’m wondering if it’s as funny if you’re not Jewish. Oy vey!

Ha! Onto a little love.. can you tell I’m ready for some bread and peanut butter? πŸ˜‰

Health

Regaining Your Common Sense Why Doing LESS Leads to a Leaner Physique JillFit

Regaining Your Common Sense: Why Doing LESS Leads to a Leaner Physique – JillFit

Regaining Your Common Sense: Why Doing LESS Leads to a Leaner Physique – JillFit
Maintaining Gut Healthy and Gluten-Free Living – Cotter Crunch
Guest RD: Fueling for Sports – Fresh Food Perspectives via Kath Eats Real Food
14 Habits of People With a Healthy Relationship to Food – HuffPost Healthy Living
When Elimination Diets Backfire – U.S.News Health & Wellness

Fitness

10 Minute Hard Core Abs Workout CandyFit Burnbrae Farms

10 Minute Hard’core’ Abs Workout – CandyFit via Burnbrae Farms

10 Minute Hard’core’ Abs Workout – CandyFit via Burnbrae Farms
15 High-Intensity Workouts You Can Do Just About Anywhere – Carrots ‘N’ Cake
8 Kettlebell Exercises to Tone and Tighten Your Thighs – Lifting Revolution
Transitioning From the Treadmill to the Track – Wildly Fit
What is Glycogen Depletion Training? – NYC Running Mama

Food

Brown Sugar Blueberry Banana Bread with Blueberry Butter Averie Cooks

Brown Sugar Blueberry Banana Bread with Blueberry Butter – Averie Cooks

Brown Sugar Blueberry Banana Bread with Blueberry Butter – Averie Cooks
Carrot Cake Loaf – Lexi’s Clean Kitchen
Kale and Wild Rice Bowls with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette – Iowa Girl Eats
5 Ingredient Inside-Out Peanut Butter Cups – Edible Perspective
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Crispy Baked Tofu with Honey Sesame Glaze – Cookie + Kate

Food for Thought

What is one of your favorite posts from the past week?

A Weekend Escape

Did you know that wine country is right around the corner from me now? Yea, that’s going to be dangerous.. but do you see where this past weekend’s trip is going..

As I mentioned last week, we have been taking advantage of our surroundings as much as possible and going on road trips on the weekends. It was only a matter of time until we made our way to wine country!

But first..

Buckwheat Tomato Cheese Mushroom Crepe

Buckwheat crepe with cheese, tomato, and mushrooms

..a quick trip to our new local farmers’ market for breakfast. Did I tell you that we got a place to live?! Well, we actually got 2 places to live. After putting down a deposit on an apartment, I heard back from someone on Craigslist with a place that looked even better [and cheaper..] so I figured it couldn’t hurt to go take a look. Turns out, it was better and we signed a new lease! We had to check out the closest market to see what we got ourselves into πŸ˜‰ We were quite pleased and will definitely be returning! [Thank goodness for year-round markets in California!]

After breakfast, we made our way out to St. Helena, just north of Napa. The first stop on the trip was Beaulieu Vineyard. It was such a beautiful day and this place was so cute.

Beaulieu Vineyard St Helena California

Beaulieu Vineyard

We each went for the red wine tasting which consisted of a pinot noir, merlot, red blend, and a cabernet sauvignon. The merlot and cab were my favorites until we got a couple extra free tastings of two of their other cabernets. Of course, the more expensive, special cab was our favorite!

Since it was about an hour and a half drive out to the first tasting, we didn’t get to the first tasting until close to noon so we decided to grab lunch before another winery. When we saw a stand with outdoor seating and a huge line of people waiting to order, we knew we had to pull over! Gott’s Roadside was one of the places recommended to us and we couldn’t pass up the idea of sitting outside for lunch in December!

Gotts Roadside Dungeness Crab Acme Sandwich

Dungeness crab sandwich on a fresh acme roll

Gotts Roadside Turkey Chile Onion Burger Garlic Fries

Green chile turkey burger & garlic fries in the background!

The west coast has it’s dungeness crab which is pretty darn tasty so I couldn’t turn down the special sandwich.. I have to admit, though, it’s no blue crab! Nathan got the green chile turkey burger and we shared an order of garlic fries and spicy tomato soup. It was all fantastic and I’m so glad we stopped.

After refueling, it was time for more wine! The next stop was St. Clement Vineyards. Their most popular wine is the Oroppas which is a cabernet. Fun fact: Oroppas spelled backward is Sapporo.. the owners of the vineyards!

St Clement Vineyards

The fabulous hilltop view [thanks for the picture, Nath!]

I can’t wait to go back there with friends when it gets warmer to do the hilltop tasting!

Our final stop in wine country was Heitz Cellar. They are one of the originals in that area and one of the only wineries to offer a free tasting. They had about 4 or 5 wines out to try but grabbed a few extras from the back for us to sneak a few tastes, including a bottle of cabernet that sells for $200! This was also about the time that I forgot to take pictures.. whoops!

On our way back, we stopped at V Marketplace in Yountville. We noticed it on our way out and it looked so nice that we wanted to check it out. We happened to get there right as the live music started πŸ™‚

Yountville V Marketplace

I enjoy a little Christmas music every now and then πŸ˜‰

And what would a weekend trip be without a little beer?! There was a ton of traffic heading back into Oakland so we decided to pull off and make a pit stop to the Torpedo Room. This place just recently opened about a month or so ago and we were so excited to see some new Sierra Nevada beer on tap that we’d never tried before!

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room Weizenbock Saison BeerCamp Red Pumpkin

Our flight of newbies!

Of course we couldn’t get anything that we’d already had. From left to right, we had the Weizenbock, French Style Saison, Beer Camp Imperial Red Ale, and Audition Pumpkin Ale. They were all great, as usual, but my favorite was definitely the pumpkin. It wasn’t heavily spiced but had a nice, round pumpkin flavor to it. Nathan’s top picks were the saison and red. He couldn’t just choose one.. the saison is an all-around easy-drinking beer and the red had a nice amount of hop flavor. It really depends on your mood.

And the perfect ending of a day full of wine? Chocolate! [And peanut butter..]

Homemade Peanut Butter Co Cup

Homemade peanut butter cup

Well, that’s really the best way to end any day, right? πŸ˜‰

Food for Thought

Have you ever been to wine country?
What is your favorite type of wine?

What I Ate Wednesday #52: Another Birthday

Oh hi there, friends! It’s been a while, huh? Sorry about that.. life has been crazy the past couple weeks and I’ve been gathering all of the pieces.

Speaking of crazy, I can’t believe it’s already September! Here I am with my birthday edition of WIAW and it’s only 2 weeks late πŸ˜‰ I happened to have found myself in Florida on my birthday and even though we already had plans at home,Β  we quickly adapted and I had quite a tasty day. Not to mention, I was also with a bunch of family that I don’t often get to see; it was so nice to spend the day with everyone!

First and foremost, I want to wish a HUGE congrats to Jenn and her husband on the birth of their baby girl! So happy for you two three!

Birthday Lunch with the Fam!
Last time Nathan and I were in Florida, just a month earlier, we found a fabulous Vietnamese restaurant. This time, we wanted to try out another place to compare, so we dragged my family. How could they say no? It was my birthday! πŸ™‚

It was pretty entertaining watching everyone, including my Grandpa, trying to figure out the menu. Good thing there are always descriptions in English and lots of pictures!

Gramps <3

Gramps ❀

I just can’t get behind pho in the summer so my go-to has been the grilled pork vermicelli bowl. This pork was more of a sausage as opposed to the flat, grilled pork. It wasn’t my favorite vermicelli bowl, but it was still darn tasty! And of course I asked for extra crushed peanuts!

Grilled Pork Vermicelli Bowl

Grilled Pork Vermicelli Bowl

Snack Time!
After lunch, we dragged the youngins [otherwise known as the cousins and my parents] over to one of our new favorite breweries in Florida, Funky Buddha. I got a Cucumber Jones, a cucumber and basil infused wheat ale. I absolutely loved it! It was so refreshed and delicious.. I just wish I could get more of it!

Cucumber Jones Wheat Ale

Cucumber Jones Wheat Ale

Appropriately fuzzy, right? πŸ˜‰

Dinner
In the spirit of trying new restaurants, Nathan took me to a tiny Indian restaurant that seats about 10 people. It was a very “no frills” kind of restaurant; they even served the food in to-go containers. Works for us!

I went for the grilled tandoori chicken and Nathan, who was feeling something extra spicy, ordered the chicken vindaloo. When you order, they ask you to give a rating, 1 though 10, for how spicy you want your sauce. He ordered a 7 and it was definitely up there!

Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken

Spicy Chicken Vindaloo

Spicy Chicken Vindaloo

The food was so flavorful and the portions were very generous. We will definitely be returning!

Birthday Dessert
FROYOOOOOOOOO!! Seriously, it’s all I wanted. We located the nearest Yogurtland and I absolutely loaded up! It was perfect.

Yogurtland Birthday Froyo

Yogurtland Birthday Froyo

And to top it all off, I ended my trip with a run [in exhausting humidity] with this view.

Sunrise Florida

Food for Thought

Do you prefer to go to a fancy restaurant for your birthday or would you rather keep it casual?

What is your favorite dessert?

What I Ate Wednesday #24 – Thanksgiving Feast

This year might have been my most successful Thanksgiving ever. For the first time, probably ever in my life, I didn’t overeat and it was amazing! It also left me wanting more. Usually I’m all Thanksgiving-food’ed out after we have our 2 dinners, but this year I feel like I could eat Thanksgiving dinner a few more times.

One of the biggest tips I’ve always heard on not overeating is to eat all of your meals as you would normally. So that’s what I attempted to do.

Thanksgiving Dinner Deep Fried Turkey Cranberry Relish Sausage Stuffing Sweet Potato Scramble Peanut Butter Butternut Squash Brussel Sprouts Asparagus Barr & Table Peas and Crayons What I Ate Wednesday WIAW

[Breakfast]
Tina from Carrots ‘N’ Cake said it perfectly..

“…a good breakfast sets the tone for my day.”

Since I’ve tried her Sweet Breakfast Scramble, I haven’t turned back. It’s amazing.. my favorites are with spaghetti squash and pumpkin, topped with 1 tbsp peanut butter. Usually two different kinds of peanut butter to mix it up πŸ™‚

[Lunch]
Peanut butter cup protein shake.

[Snacks]
Carrots and an apple.

[Dinner]
Thank goodness for Thanksgiving! I loved the menu this year; of course we had our staples, but some new side dishes popped up too.

  • Deep fried turkey
  • Sausage stuffing (secret recipe!)
  • Roasted sweet potatoes
  • Roasted broccoli
  • Roasted asparagus
  • Winter panzanella salad
  • Cranberry relish

Check out my plate above.. I definitely had a little extra of a few things, but I couldn’t believe I walked away with white space on my plate!

This year I jumped at the opportunity to make a few items for the night, partially in an attempt to have a few healthier items on the table.

Smitten Kitchen Michael Chiarello Panzanella Salad Homemade Reeses Peanut Butter Cups Jif KIND Snacks Granola Apple Crisp

I brought one of my favorite winter salads; winter panzanella from smitten kitchen. I also wanted to bring a healthy dessert so I made my Kind Apple Crisp. And then the healthy options ended. My homemade peanut butter cups are an absolute must ever year. I’ve been making them since I was a kid and have perfected them in the last few years. Nathan said they were the best this year, but I think he tells me that every year! I’ll keep him around.. πŸ˜‰

Thanksgiving Dinner Deep Fried Turkey Slicing

Mom slicing the turkey!

My brother deep fries the turkeys outside and as soon as they come in, everyone starts swarming the kitchen.

“Oh, this piece is going to fall off. I should grab it before it falls..”

And as soon as my mom starts slicing, you’d think we were a bunch of vultures that hadn’t eaten in days! Who knows, maybe some of us haven’t eaten in days in preparation? It’s well worth the wait!

[Dessert]

Thanksgiving Dessert Pumpkin Roll Pie Whipped Cream Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

Along with my peanut butter cups and apple crisp, there was also a deconstructed pumpkin pie in the cutest little cups, chocolate chip banana bread courtesy of my brother’s girlfriend, and a pumpkin roll. My aunt makes this roll special for Nathan every year, so you can imagine our panic when we saw her facebook status in the early afternoon..

“First attempt at pumpkin roll a failure and dumped in trash. Helper off to the Giant for more sugar. I know Nathan is counting on me!”

I’m pleased to report that her second attempt was a success! Luckily, I convinced Nathan ahead of time to split the desserts with me so I was able to try a little bit of everything. And boy can my family bake! Seriously. We’re good!

What a great holiday! I’m so thankful for my wonderful family, especially since they’re such great cooks and bakers πŸ˜‰

Food for Thought

What are you thankful for this year?